Some hardware and software updates are coming soon in the near future. For software, I think I’m going to add a Smugmug account to my blog to make it far easier to sell prints online. Currently, I use Flickr to house the images for preview and depend on customers emailing me a request. That’s a lot of friction. However, my only issue with Smugmug is their dependence on 3 printers whose quality is questionable and their products are mostly gimmicky crap. Since my gallery is quite small, as I’m extremely critical about the photos I’ll include for sale, plus my desire to keep my print runs extremely limited (no more than 25 sold per image), I prefer to have full control of who and how does my printing, matting and framing.
I want buyers to love not only the image, which is obviously the main draw, but the whole process surrounding it should also contribute to the final impression. Once I’ve decided on an image to included for sale, I map out how I want it to look by choosing a specific print medium, the decision to matte, and the type of frame or to go frameless. I’m not selling posters.
For example, one of my gallery images is only available frameless on 1/4″ acrylic with Dibond backing; it’s an astro photo and I really wanted the faint, pale blue stars to pop off the blackest black background. Only an acrylic or metal print would achieve this and acrylic printing offered higher print consistency and gloss compared to metal. I will not sell the print any other way as no other way preserves the photograph in the way I want it displayed.
As for hardware, it looks like I’ll be returning to square 1 on the GFX. After acquiring the “holy trinity,” I’m now forced to look at 35mm, wide aperture lenses for astrophotography. My results aren’t bad, but I feel it could be better with an extra stop or 2 of light. Sigma is the obvious choice but I’m also interested in the Zeiss Milvus line. I’d really like something between 20-28mm with an ƒ/2 or better max aperture. I’ve also begun to miss my Sigma 85mm ƒ/1.4 Art and am considering buying another or going with the 105mm ƒ/1.4, 135mm ƒ/1.8 or the Zeiss Milvus 135mm ƒ/2. The latter is impressive but the ability to use autofocus keeps luring me back to Sigma. I don’t shoot portraits much but it’s something I’d like to do more of. At this point I’m glad I kept my adapters. However, after spending this past year spending like crazy to collect GFX stuff, this is a purchase that probably won’t happen until New Years.
Anyways, just some thoughts since it’s been a while between blog posts. I’ve also been slowly collecting hardware to record video as I’m considering vlogging. I feel like the dumbing down of America has made my desire to write a bit anachronistic and video is the only way to get my point across.